January 15, 2014 Damon Hayhow

Recomp & The Death of Academic Qualifications

I was heartened to read this recent article in the Harvard Business Review about the University Degree being doomed. It is not yet, unfortunately. But the article is recognising that for many vocations there are vastly superior tools now available for teaching and assessing a candidates skill and job-suitability than academic qualifications. That happens to be the exact belief Recomp Certification is based on.

Degree Degredation

A degree is really nothing more than a ubiquitous, non-specific recommendation from a faceless academic. In fields that are heavily academically based – science, engineering, medicine, law etc – formal academic validation is crucial. But in most places the term ‘academic’ has an accepted and derogatory definition as: “not of practical relevance”. And as degree’s have become commonplace, their certification of ‘not practically relevant’ ability has completely lost any value for differentiating between job candidates.

It’s not surprising to see more and more people caught lying about having qualifications that are ‘not of practical relevance’ anyway. The CEO of Yahoo was possibly the most high-profile ‘busting’ of someone who lied. Here is an article about 10 more giants of industry who were caught lying. All this tells you one thing of certainty: there are hundreds of high-ranked executives who have gotten away with lying about their degree’s! And why not? They never offered any practical relevance to their performance!

Recomp Certification – No Courses. 100% Practical Assessment

What really matters to companies (outside petty politics) and customers is: results! Hence why the above article in Harvard Business Review is showing employers are now looking for the essential practical and relevant measures of a candidates ability that degree’s ignore.

All of this is particularly satisfying to read because it agrees entirely with the basis of Recomp Certification. Ours is no academic qualification. We don’t sell a course. Recomp Certification is solely based on proving relevant, practical competence in body recompositioning. There is no course because nobody became competent at body recompositioning in a classroom! They only did so in the gym and kitchen!

There is no course because nobody became competent at body recompositioning in a classroom!

Recomp Certification Background

When I was creating Recomp Certification my first priority was to create a qualification process that would prevent incompetent people from destroying its value. Initially I’d hoped to create a properly government accredited course. But the response I received from the very top of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) food-chain – after a warm personal introduction – was alarming!

I was told it is discrimination to deny certification of a student based on them being incompetent!

An analogy was then made about a double amputee – someone with no arms – having to be given certification in CPR. The fact that it is a physical impossibility for a person with no arms to perform CPR is irrelevant; apparently. They must still be certified as competent because they can  know what needs doing and they can tell a person with 2 arms what to do!

There were many more shockingly asinine aspects to the Australian VET system; but the fact that every qualification had to be attainable by any and every person made it the antithesis of what I was trying to create.

I was told it is discrimination to deny certification of a student based on them being incompetent!

Why non-accredited by choice

I took a step back and asked why a course needed to be accredited? What does accreditation even mean? That the Government recognises it. Why do I care if the Government recognises it? What matters is PEOPLE recognising it. Ultimately what is the defining element of any qualification? Branding? Actually no. The answer is: INSURANCE!

The defining attribute of any qualification is whether an insurance company will accept the risk of your being sued. If the risk of you practicing your profession is too great for an insurance company to get paid for that risk, your qualification is not worth the paper its printed on! You can take the risk yourself. But why bother with a legally worthless qualification at all then?!

There are no specific laws to stop a person exercising with another person or suggesting what they eat. But personal and professional damages claims go through a legal process that will bankrupt any normal person long before any determination is made. You’ll be bankrupt before you get to argue the value of your qualification to a judge. Insurance is the only protection.

So I negotiated an insurance product for body recomposition specialists from a leading insurer, backed by Lloyds of London. And then I made Recomp Certification the way a qualification should be: rapid, respectful and inexpensive for competent people; but completely impossible for incompetent people!

I made Recomp Certification the way a qualification should be: rapid, respectful and inexpensive for competent people; but completely impossible for incompetent people!

What Recomp Certification Involves

Recomp Certification is the opposite of Cert 4 in Fitness (not least because it shuns Fitness mediocrity). An experienced, expert PT with a great figure or physique (because they practice what they preach) can pass the assessments with zero preparation and a total contact time of a couple of hours. An inexperienced PT is ineligible for Recomp Certification. An experienced but incompetent PT, or a PT focussed on ‘fitness’ and not body recomposition, will fail.

I broke body recomposition down to its constituent pieces and created a standard for each:

  1. Experience. The only way to become a competent coach is to spend time coaching people. The lowest Recomp Certification level requires 2 years working full-time as a coach/PT, with weights, as the primary occupation listed in your tax return.
  2. Strength. Planned, measured, professional body recompositioning involves weight training. If you can’t train yourself to lift heavy weights then there is no reason to assume you can train others to do so! We invented the Quantum Performance Score to fairly assess the strength of every person of every size.
  3. Nutrition. Professional body recomposition involves high-performance sport nutrition and supplementation. The ISSN are the Global experts at the forefront of sport nutrition and they have an exam for experienced  Coaches to prove their existing knowledge. Recomp Certification requires this ISSN Certification.
  4. Recomposition. Finally, prove you can put training and nutrition expertise together for the relevant outcome of extreme body recomposition by dramatically improving your body composition. We invented the Quantum Recomposition Score to fairly assess a persons improvement given their starting point.

Recomp Certification has no course. Nobody ever became competent at anything by sitting in a classroom. We simply assess the relevant skills of experienced professionals.

Recomp Certification Benefits

With Recomp Certification, Trainers enjoy:

  • Superior insurance that includes prescribing diets
  • Professional differentiation from the hordes of incompetent personal trainers
  • Freedom from Fitness Australia and the worthless CEC courses regime
  • Access to the Recomposer software
  • The ability to assess and certify other PT’s themselves (as a Consultant).

Contact me if you would like to know more about Recomp Certification?

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Damon Hayhow

Damon Hayhow has been in the body recomposition (Recomp) and bodybuilding industry for 30 years as a coach, competitor, gym owner, teacher, sponsor, show promoter, judge and MC. He has won National competitions in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, set world records, and coached others to the same success in strength sport and physique competition.

Body recomposition diet and training concepts based on logic and reason; not scientism